Play is an important part of growing up. After the renovations to allow for the amalgamation of St. Michael Junior High and St. Dominic Savio schools two years ago left the school grounds needing improvements, the school community council took on the project of bettering the grounds and equipment that serves over 500 students.
"The kids are so excited. If they don't have a place to purge that energy, it's hard to be productive in the classroom," said Twyla Molnar, school community council chair.
When the community council first began looking into the project, they realized that the amount of equipment that was moved over to St. Michael School from St. Dominic Savio wasn't enough to accommodate the entire school population.
The council sought input from the school, staff, and surveyed the students to see what was needed and wanted in the school yard. "The school is now pre-K to grade 9. We had to look at different types of equipment and make sure we had items for all ages," said Molnar.
Children have their choice of a Mini-Jupiter climbing structure, tire swings, basketball hoops, soccer nets, a sandbox, tetherball pole and tarmac stencil games on top of the equipment that was moved to St. Michael School from St. Dominic Savio School. The school yard project also included the flower garden in the front of the school, basketball court drainage improvement, garbage cans, benches and green space with sitting areas for all to enjoy.
Through fundraising and the help of many sponsors, the school community council was able to make the school grounds inviting and functional for children of all ages to play.
The sponsors that made direct contributions to the school yard initiative are: United Centrifuge Ltd., Swayze Concrete Ltd., Rearden Well Servicing, Openfield Group of Companies, Valleyview Petroleums Ltd., Winter Well Servicing Ltd., Great Plains Ford Sales, A&B Concrete, and Canadian Tire.
Phase One of the school yard project in now complete. Phase Two includes adding more sensory and wheelchair accessible equipment to the school yard. The school community council will continue to work toward sponsorship to make this a reality.
"We have a really enthusiastic group of parents contributing to this project which helps it to be so successful," said Molnar. "We thank the parents, teachers, students, and community for volunteering and supporting our events. The school community council would like to welcome the students and staff back to school. We are looking forward to another fantastic year."